THE broad acres of Yorkshire have cemented their reputation as the place to visit for a break from hectic everyday life.

After a year that included hosting the Tour de France’s Grand Depart – which attracted millions of spectators – the UK’s largest county has officially been named as Europe’s Leading Destination.

The accolade was announced at the World Travel Awards in Athens and is the second time the county has been named as the best.

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It beat tourism powerhouses like Rome, Florence and Geneva to the title and in doing so confirmed its position as a top performer in the holiday industry.

And as the icing on the cake the county’s tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire also won the award for Europe’s Leading Marketing Campaign for the third time.

Delighted chief executive Gary Verity said: “This is yet more evidence that Yorkshire continues to be the premier European travel destination by winning this prestigious award.

“It is a tribute to the 12 months of hard work that has gone into making this year the most successful year of all time for the county.”

He added: “These awards are some of the biggest in international tourism, and it makes me very proud to see Yorkshire at the top.”

The agency’s head of marketing, Vikki Harris, said: “We continuously strive to come up with new and innovative ways to market Yorkshire and all it has to offer.

“I am incredibly proud for the marketing team that we’ve won one of the biggest marketing awards in tourism.”

Yorkshire has now won Europe’s Leading Destination for two years in a row, having last year been the first location other than a major city or country to win the award.